Well, it seems my technological ineptitude has reared its ugly head yet again. Unfortunately, given my hectic life, I didn’t realize this until well after the fact. I know I promised you the completion of the story about my ‘crappy’ day (pun intended) and to be perfectly honest, I thought I had posted Part IV of this piece last week. Not only did I fail to hit send, but I somehow managed to completely erase what I had written. I have no idea how I was able to pull off this complicated maneuver, but this is now a complete rewrite of the remainder of the story that thankfully is still fresh in my head.

I don’t want to belabor you with a recap in the interest of space, so if you’re not already up to speed, go back and read parts 1-3 of this piece. It’s okay, I’ll wait. (Cue up elevator music). Aaand we’re back.

I had just spent about 2 hours on my hands and knees with a portable rug spot steam cleaner. If you have kids and a pet, this is the best $80 you will ever spend by the way. I had finally gotten all remnants of the feline feces follies cleaned up. The three little ones were taking a brief respite from eating my life by watching a Disney movie and eating fruit snacks.

Based on the events of this day thus far, I had made myself a promise that I wasn’t going to tell my wife about it when she got home from work. In return, I didn’t want to hear anything about her day at the hospital unless she had been attacked by a rogue mental patient, or she had single handedly delivered quintuplets in the stairwell of the parking garage. Being my soulmate, we usually both know from looking briefly into each others eyes upon her arrival home whether or not to discuss our days. It’s a mutual understanding we have that has been working pretty well.

I’m now going to jump out of order in the story and fast forward a little bit. By the time my wife arrived home that night, the proverbial dust had settled, and the carpets had dried. She went into our room to get out of her scrubs and grab a quick shower before dinner. She was only gone a minute when she returned to the living room with a befuddled look on her face. She asked; “did someone run through bleach today?” I, a little confused replied; “no”, and followed her to the other room. From the dining room, through the hall, and into our bedroom was a trail of large, ovular bright colored spots that looked like the fresh tracks of a full grown polar bear. This is when I promptly realized that I had grossly underestimated two important facts. The first is the toll that can be taken on a carpet in a house with four children under the age of 11 and a mentally challenged, morbidly obese, aging cat who thinks that weaving figure eights between my legs will expedite the feeding process. The second, is how recently I had steam cleaned the entire carpets. What we were now looking at was the color that the carpet is supposed to be. It looked like a path of paving stones through a mulch filled garden.

So not only did I have to explain what had happened in detail to my bride, but I now had a project for the next few days. Being a seasoned veteran of nearly 8 years by my side, she managed to restrain her laughter as I told her about some of the highlights of my day. The funny thing is that out of all that happened that day, the only thing she’s going to be pissed at me about writing is how soiled our carpets were.

I’m going to flash back now to earlier in the day. I finished spot cleaning all of the stains. I stood up and briefly perused my work and was satisfied with what I saw. It looked good, it smelled good, and it was still a little damp so the color discrepancy was not yet evident. For the second time today, I briefly felt about as triumphant as I could. The first was when I successfully yet painfully re-inserted one of my upper extremities into its’ original housing. And now, cleaning up the mess without having to call in FEMA. It would however be a short victory lap. I made my way to the living room where I found three little angels huddled together on the sofa watching the final minutes of Finding Nemo. I stood quietly out of sight for a minute or two taking in this wonderful sight which I will forever cherish.

I finally felt for the first time that my horrific day was taking a turn for the better. I celebrated by going to the kitchen to reward myself with a fresh cup of coffee. When you walk through your day wearing my shoes, caffeine becomes a necessary evil. It’s also the only remaining vice I have left. As I took my first sip I glanced at the microwave, I noticed that the clock on the front read 4:32! I spit out my coffee and shifted into full blown panic mode. My 11 year old daughter had an after school program that day and she had to be picked up at 4:45. If I hit all green lights (which has never happened), I can make it there in about 16 minutes. But I still had to get two kids to go potty, one in a clean diaper, and all three suited up for the weather, out the door, and safely strapped in the car.

To say I was now freaking out would be understating the situation and sense of urgency is an emotion that is lost on toddlers and infants. All things considered, we made pretty good time and were backing out of my driveway by 4:41 (or so I thought). Despite my tardiness, I drove with caution and within the speed limits as the cargo of my vessel was pretty precious. The weather was damp, frigid, and very windy. I envisioned my Princess standing sad, cold, and alone in front of her school watching all of her classmates with responsible parents get safely picked up. About this time I realized that no matter what was about to happen, I had no way of contacting the school or sending a message to other parents. If you recall, this day started with me dropping my cell phone in a piss filled toilet at about 5:30 a.m.

I hate to do this to you all, but there’s still more to this story that has to be told. It’s worth the wait and culminates in a bizarre celebrity encounter. I hope you’ve enjoyed it up to this point. Thanks for playing along.

Until next time, Syd Nichols